Original Japanese Pre WWI M1899 Type 32 "Otsu" 2nd Pattern Cavalry Saber with Scabbard - dated 1908
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice Imperial Japanese WWII Type 32 "Ko" First Pattern Cavalry saber, complete with its original steel scabbard. Japanese cavalry sabers, originally introduced in the late 19th Century, all have machine made blades with serial numbers on the ricasso and will commonly have arsenal stamps on the guard.
The Type 25, introduced in 1892, had brass hilts and plain wood grips. The Type 32, introduced in 1899, on the other hand has a checkered steel hilt with checkered wood grips. They were issued with a leather finger loop on the inside of the guard. The machine made blades are "katana" shaped, and have a full length wide fuller and flat spine, and are contained in steel scabbards with a single ring. The swords saw service during the Russo-Japanese War, World War One and on into World War Two.
Two patterns of the Type 32 were produced. The first pattern, known as ‘Ko,’ was issued to cavalry NCOs and had a blade length of around 32 1/2 inches. The second pattern, known as ‘Otsu,’ was issued to army NCOs and was shorter, with a blade length of around 30 inches. This example is a ‘Otsu’ pattern Type 32 cavalry saber, and is an early production example, and was designed to have a leather finger ring. Like almost every example we see, the finger loop is mostly missing, with just a bit still around the attachment rivet. These almost always break off or are removed later in service.
The blade is in very good condition and retains its fighting edge, with a few areas of nicks and denting. The ricasso is stamped with serial number 67535, which may have been remarked at some point. The blade was designed for cutting and thrusting and was superbly good at both. This blade definitely looks to have seen service, and was sharpened at least once for use, though we do not see much in the way of blade nicks. It has a lovely polished look, with some traces of past oxidation visible.
The steel D guard has a checked steel back strap and dove head pommel, all of which now show a worn oxidized steel patina from years of service and cleaning. The checked wooden grip is in very good condition, with strong checkering and still has a nice dark red brown color. It is however missing the retaining latch spring that locks into the scabbard, and the scabbard itself has has a throat that is not designed to accept that latch, which may have been replaced.
The guard has the "stacked cannonball" logo used by Tokyo and Kokura arsenals, and above this is the following: 一 四 明, which read in reverse is MEI YON ICHI, or Meiji 4 1, for the 41st year of the Meiji Era, 1908. We very rarely get dated examples of these, and this means it is definitely quite early made. These were kept in service for decades, so most likely it was brought home after WWII
The sword is complete with its steel scabbard, with a single hanger-ring, and no provision for a locking catch. The drag of the scabbard bears two different serial numbers, which do not match the blade, a very common occurrence as they were swapped over the years. The exterior has a nice lightly oxidized patina, and the brazed seam can easily be seen.
A Japanese Cavalry Saber, in service for decades through TWO world wars, and probably brought home after WWII. In very nice condition and ready to display!
Blade length: 30 1/2”
Blade style: Single Edged with Fuller
Overall length: 35 ½”
Guard Dimensions: 4 1/2"W x 5"L
Scabbard length: 31 1/2"
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